John Wooden's Pyramid of Success
The Wooden Effect
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The life principles summarized in the Pyramid of Success had no explicit reference to basketball or athletics. The coach's diagram was simply a roadmap to being a better person.

The building blocks of Wooden's Pyramid of Success


  • Industriousness: There is no substitute for work. Worthwhile results come from hard work and careful planning.
  • Loyalty: To yourself and to all those depending upon you. Keep your self-respect.
  • Alertness: Be observing constantly. Stay open-minded. Be eager to learn and improve.
  • Initiative: Cultivate the ability to make decisions and think alone. Do not be afraid of failure, but learn from it.
  • Enthusiasm: Brushes off upon those with whom you come in contact. You must truly enjoy what you are doing.
  • Self-Control: Practice self-discipline and keep emotions under control. Good judgment and common sense are essential.
  • Friendship: Comes from mutual esteem, respect and devotion. Like marriage, it must not be taken for granted but requires joint effort.
  • Cooperation: With all levels of your co-workers. Listen if you want to be heard. Be interested in finding the best way, not in having your own way.
  • Intentness: Set a realistic goal. Concentrate on its achieve ment by resisting all temptations and being determined and persistent.
  • Confidence: Respect without fear. May come from being prepared and keeping all things in proper perspective.
  • Skill: A knowledge of and the ability to properly and quickly execute the fundamentals. Be prepared and cover every little detail.
  • Team-Spirit: A genuine consideration for others. An eagerness to sacrifice personal interests of glory for the welfare of all.
  • Poise: Just being yourself. Being at ease in any situation. Never fighting yourself.
  • Condition: Mental-Moral-Physical. Rest, exercise and diet must be considered. Moderation must be practiced. Dissipation must be eliminated.
  • Competitive Greatness: Be at your best when your best is needed. Enjoyment of a difficult challenge.


The Pyramid of Success by John Wooden